November 2015 Movie Roundup

So many great releases in November and yet I only went to the movies four times. Four times! How average! I am ashamed.

In my defense, I guess a lot of releases came out in the later part of the month which tends to be booked up with Thanksgiving festivities. But still.

ANYWAY this shall be a short post. A quick recap. A brief check-in.

Which come to think of it might be better cause we’re only a week into December and already I’ve got five movies under my belt watched or planned (and I’m not even counting Star Wars or The Revenant). So at least the year will go out with a bang.

OKAY without further ado, here is my ranking of the four November films. (If you missed my last post, click here for an explanation of the categories!)

The Golden Goal
I thought Room was going to hold the top spot for my favorite of the year but I did not see Brooklyn coming. Please, please, please everyone go watch this film. A beautiful portrait of an Irish immigrant trying to start a new and better life — played by the exceptional Saorsie Ronan — this movie stayed with me long after the screen faded to black. Maybe it’s the refreshing plot, not a tentpole blockbuster or a sequel or a reboot, or maybe this is just the kind of intimate story that simply doesn’t get told enough. Engaging, stunning, and emotional — I really hope it goes far. In a year where all four actor races are unusually wide open, if I had to bet, I would guarantee Brie Larson and Saorsie Ronan as locks for the Best Actress nomination so honestly go watch it for her alone.

Hat Trick
Buzz around this movie has been loud and clear all year, and it did not disappoint. An incredible ensemble performance carefully directed by Tom McCarthy, this film exceeded even my own expectations. A compelling story brought to life by actors at their best, it’s one that should definitely not be missed (not to mention how great it is to see my favorite city in the world represented on screen). The actors will all be campaigning for Supporting but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take away a couple of Ensemble wins leading up to the Oscars. Also would be shocked to see it left out of the Best Picture and Best Director races.

Bicycle Kicks
Not too many comments about the latest Bond installment, other than to say while it was a solidly entertaining film, Skyfall was just so much better (to be fair, it was always going to be a hard one to follow up). Nonetheless, still a great movie with a definite spark of its own. The usual action and adventure is sprinkled with some refreshing humor, and (spoilers ahead) our Bond girl (played by the always brilliant Lea Seydoux) actually lives to tell the tale. Daniel Craig is the same as ever (not a criticism) but if the rumors are to be believed, the next film might even have a new poster boy. I’m still rooting hard for Idris Elba.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II
The final installment of one of my favorite book series. I should preface this by saying I really didn’t think Mockingjay warranted being split into two movies (it’s 390 pages for Christ’s sake). But it’s also a hard book to bring to screen. My favorite of the series (both book and movie adaptation) is Catching Fire, and I had great expectations for the final two movies but Mockingjay just fell a tad short for me. In my opinion, as a book fan first and foremost, the movie missed the heart of what Suzanne Collins was trying to say with her story. That said, it is still incredibly entertaining, gorgeously shot, and brilliantly acted. My issues run a bit deeper — this piece by Darren Franich sums it up pretty well (long read but worth it if you want to understand where my reservations are coming from).

This is probably the shortest movie roundup I’ve ever done which is incredibly shameful but also wow look at all the free time I have now to go watch three times more movies in December to go outside and enjoy fresh air.

In all seriousness, December is already jam-packed and we’re only a week in. So far I’ve checked off Creed and Trumbo and have tickets to screenings for Macbeth and The Danish Girl this week. I’d love to catch Chi-Raq this weekend but also really need to get started on my pre-Force Awakens Star Wars marathon. December’s roundup might be a bit delayed due to holiday festivities and travels but I know somehow you will power through the agonizing wait.

So until next time friends, happy watching!


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